The objective of this paper is to develop a size-dependent nonlinear model of beams for fluid-conveying nanotubes with an initial deflection. The nonlinear frequency response of the nanotube is analysed via an Euler-Bernoulli model. Size influences on the behaviour of the nanosystem are described utilising the nonlocal strain gradient theory (NSGT). Relative motions at the inner wall of the nanotube is taken into consideration via Beskok–Karniadakis model. Formulating kinetic and elastic energies and then employing Hamilton\'s approach, the nonlinear motion equations are derived. Furthermore, Galerkin\'s approach is employed for discretisation, and then a continuation scheme is developed for obtaining numerical results. It is observed that an initial deflection significantly alters the frequency response of NSGT nanotubes conveying fluid. For small initial deflections, a hardening nonlinearity is found whereas a softening-hardening nonlinearity is observed for large initial deflections.